AustralianSuper opens London investment office

The Melbourne-based pension giant currently employs two investment professionals in London with expertise in real estate and infrastructure.

AustralianSuper, Australia’s largest private pension fund, has opened an investment office in London.

The office has been operating since the summer and is the only location in Europe where staff from the Melbourne-based pension fund are based.

“AustralianSuper does have staff based in London as a result of its increasing involvement in direct investments, particularly global property and infrastructure deals,” confirmed AustralianSuper spokesman and head of external relations, Stephen McMahon.

The pension manager currently employs two people in the office, including Trish Curry, who will lead its activities.

AustralianSuper is a profit for member organization that has more than A$100 billion ($75.5 billion; €67.5 billion) of assets under management. The fund has more than 2.1 million members drawn from over 220,000 business. It manages the retirement funds of one in ten working Australians.

According to PEI Research, AustralianSuper has a current allocation of 3.4 percent to private equity. The super fund is active in direct investment as it aims to manage around 35 percent of its investment portfolio internally by the year 2018.

At the start of this year, the pension fund put more money to work in the UK when it raised its stake in the King's Cross commercial, residential and leisure project from 25 percent to 67.5 percent after initially buying a stake in the project from the UK Government for £370 million.

In its 2015 annual report – the latest available – AustralianSuper said private equity was its best performing asset class for the year to 30 June 2015. The fund's Balanced Investment option – in which more than 80 percent of its members invest their retirement savings – returned 10.86 percent after taxes and fees.